The National Hockey League Players Association announced a list of twenty players who wish to go through salary arbitration. Surprisingly, one of the Boston Bruins appeared on that list. Bruins defenseman Matt Bartkowski has elected to go through this process. The process will convene on July 20th in Toronto and go through August 4th. The players and teams will still be able to hammer out a compromise up until that time. There is no update on what Bartkowski’s demands are at this time.
Last year, Bartkowski earned $650,000 in a one year contract. It was his first one-way deal with Boston in his four year professional career in the Bruins organization. Matt Bartkowski was part of the trade that brought Dennis Seidenberg to Boston back in 2010. He was originally drafted back in 2008 in the seventh round(190th overall) of the draft by the Florida Panthers.
There have been grumblings about Bartkowski by the fan base, and it’s not hard to say they’ve got a point here. He played in sixty four games last season for the Black and Gold. A good season could have easily allowed him to cash in a meal ticket, but his results were mixed. Last season he was unable to score a goal for Boston (although he did put in eighteen assists). He wasn’t able to score a goal in the post-season either (he did earn one assist against Montreal), and the lack of production from the blue line is one of the reasons why the Bruins got beat by the Montreal Canadiens.
Bartkowski was also prone to make bad calls that led to goals or penalties for Boston. There was talk on a lot of lips that the Peter Chiarelli and company were trying to move him. While his requesting arbitration is his right under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, it probably won’t earn him any more friends among the fan base and the front office. If Bartkowski wasn’t already the outside defenseman looking in already, he may seriously be it now. His only saving grace is that if the Bruins put him on waivers in order to send him down to Providence, another NHL team desperate for depth in their own defensemen might snap him up for nothing. (At this point, it might not be a bad idea if the B’s can’t put together a good (or even adequate) trade for him.)